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Man gets life for 2007 killing

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County jury didn't buy the murder-for-hire defense offered by Joe Lee Farris, finding him guilty on all counts Friday after deliberating for just two hours.

Farris, 44, was convicted of murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during a crime in the killing ofOlugbenga "Ken" Ikuesan, a 47-year-old Marietta tow truck driver.

Ikuesan was found dead in his wrecker near Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Norcross on the morning of May 9, 2007.

Superior Court Judge Ronnie Batchelor sentenced Farris to life in prison plus 25 years, said Assistant District Attorney John Warr.

Farris' original trial in Febuary ended with the jury deadlocked, 6-6.

Farris took the stand Thursday and Friday, painting Ikuesan, a Nigerian immigrant, as a depressed man who wanted someone else to take his life for him.

Prosecutors said robbery was the motive, though exact circumstances aren't known.

"I don't know what happened out there that night," Warr said during the first trial. "We may never know ... only the defendant knows now."

The murder weapon, a 9mm handgun, was found under the porch of Farris' Carrollton home, police said.

Forensic experts linked the pistol to a bullet lodged in Ikuesan's head.